Morningside and Saint Ambrose will meet for the second straight season in the opening round of the N-A-I-A football playoffs when the teams collide in Davenport on Saturday. This is the third straight trip to the playoffs for Morningside which made it to the national semifinals in 2005.
Coach Steve Ryan says this is a much different team, as its young and they have a lot of pride in getting back to the playoffs. Defense has been the key for Morningside. In their eight victories the Mustangs have yielded a total of only 64 points. Ryan says they’ve counted on their defense heavily and the defense has played very well.
It figures to be a tougher chore for the Mustangs who rolled past Saint Ambrose 58-7 in the opening round in Sioux City a year ago. He says they created big plays early in the game last year on offense and defense, and Ryan says they hope to do the same thing. And Ryan says his team has to avoid turnovers.
Saint Ambrose is ranked third nationally and is 10-0 for the first time in school history. Saint Ambrose coach Todd Sturdy says defensively they’ve been playing well, and on offense they’ve really improved the running game. Sturdy says they plan to make a better showing against Morningside than they did a year ago.
Sturdy says Morningside was definitely the better football team last year and that left a bad taste in their mouths and they hope to make a better game of it Saturday.
Sturdy says they are glad to have this game at home. He says it’s been a couple of years since they’ve had a home playoff game.